Controversial Wallabies great David Campese has slammed the expanded Super Rugby format as "ridiculous, an absolute nightmare and not really viable".

The World Cup winning winger detailed major concerns over player welfare with three new sides expanding the competition to 18 teams to play 135 games throughout the regular season.

Campese questioned the absence of a Pacific Islands side and predicted widespread financial dramas for teams.

"Realistically it's just going to be an absolute nightmare," Campese told Planetrugby.com.

"There doesn't seem to be any thought going into the players' welfare about the travelling. No one seems to know. It's an absolute mess.

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"Money's great, but on the other hand if you want to [increase the] competition why not bring in the Pacific Islands as well? Why have you got to go to Japan?

"It's a total mess and I think something major is going to happen to make them change their mind."

Campese labelled the decision to include the battling Kings franchise in South Africa as "a disaster" and doubts the Japanese Sunwolves are adequately prepared.

"(The organisers) maybe should have had a year off to get the best players and formats in place," he said.

"The Japanese team are going to have, I think, half a team of foreigners - how is that good for Japanese rugby?"